Pending IG Report on FISA Abuse — Beware Media Spin
Michael Horowitz's long-awaited report on FBI FISA abuse is due out today.
The long-anticipated report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz on abuse of FISA relating to surveilling Donald Trump’s campaign is due to be publicly released today. So, what should expectations be? The best answer is to expect a bit of a mixed bag. This is due in part to the role of IGs in general. Horowitz’s report, while concerned with exposing wrongdoing, will likely focus only on specific individuals within the FBI rather than any larger possible deep-state conspiracy. By its very nature — and by rule — Horowitz’s investigation was limited in scope to interview only current agency employees. This is why many folks are more focused on U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation.
However, while Horowitz’s report may not be the bombshell many conservatives have anticipated, it should provide important answers to some burning questions. For instance, what was the actual criminal allegation the FBI made against Trump campaign aide Carter Page? Did the Justice Department follow the proper procedures in applying for the FISA warrant? As has long been alleged, did the FBI’s application to the FISA court present false or misleading information? If so, who all was directly involved in crafting the application?
Also look for answers for why the FBI’s Bruce Ohr continued to have contact with British ex-spy Christopher Steele after the FBI had terminated his role as an informant. Who set up Ohr as a go-between with Steele and FBI leadership? Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said it wasn’t him. There’s also the question as to whether the FBI used Ohr’s wife Nellie, who then worked for Hillary Clinton-hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, to help obtain the FISA warrant.
Questions surround the timing of when the FBI actually launched its surveillance of the Trump campaign, known as Crossfire Hurricane. Officially the FBI stated it began on July 31, 2016; however, it is now known that the FBI had already begun an investigation of the Trump campaign earlier.
Finally, the Leftmedia has for several weeks been spinning supposedly leaked information suggesting Horowitz’s report will amount to little more than a nothing-burger. Don’t expect the media to change their tune once the lengthy report is released. There should be some insight into how Durham’s criminal investigation overlaps, which will give a better picture of what he has uncovered and what crime he is pursuing.